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A Winter Water Challenge


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Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 133 total)
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  • #3685491
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    OK, here’s the problem of the day.

    I’m planning a 50-mile trek in SE Wyoming in the next few weeks. Generally below the snowline, but temps are cold here now so water is frozen.

    From a scouting trip along part of my route this week:

    There is water under the ice, just a trickle, and I didn’t have anything with me that I could break through and access it. The big rocks around the creek could be used, but they were all frozen into the ground.

    Other than carrying a geologist’s hammer (I’m not kidding), any thoughts on how you’d manage water on a trip like this, if the only sources were frozen ice, and there’s no snow available?

     

    #3685545
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Two thoughts:

    A bit of fallen timber thumped down onto the ice

    A boot heel thumped down on the ice

    It does seem to me that the ice will be brittle, and if you can pick what looks like a weak point you should be OK. Exactly where you find the weak points – that I am not 100% sure. Maybe a pool a short distance away from a rock is worth a try: the ice might flex but the rock won’t. Pack off for this exercise I suggest, and trekking poles for balance.

    Cheers

    #3685548
    PaulW
    BPL Member

    @peweg8

    Locale: Western Colorado

    My first thought was using a small hatchet (or hammer) to hopefully chop through to running water. Otherwise, it seems you’re stuck using something to break the ice into chunks for melting. I’m looking forward to your trip report on this one!

    #3685551
    Philip Tschersich
    BPL Member

    @philip-ak

    Locale: Kodiak Alaska

    A small coal chisel and you could use a rock for the hammer?

    #3685552
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Remote inverted canister stove used as an oxy-torch?
    Not entirely silly, mind you.

    Cheers

    #3685564
    rubmybelly!
    BPL Member

    @sleeping

    Locale: The Cascades

    Wouldn’t a nice, solid tent stake that you already carry work? I know you said the rocks were frozen into the water, but I’m assuming that there are other rocks nearby on land that would not be, that you could use as a hammer. If you don’t think the tent stakes are strong enough for pounding like that, carrying a tenpenny nail should do the trick.

    #3685566
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    Rocks were really difficult to dislodge – they were frozen solid into the ground.

    The ice in the creek was several inches thick, and the water running under the ice was just a trickle.

    A 20-pound rock thrown into the ice did nothing but dent the surface a little. Boot heel – nope. At least not with Hokas.

    A tent stake was futile. It would be a ton of work with any kind of stabbing/chiseling tool.

    Someone on Instagram suggested a climbing ice screw. That seems to me to be potentially feasible, and then some kind of suction pump to pull the water out from the hole.

    #3685567
    Matt Dirksen
    BPL Member

    @namelessway

    Locale: Mid Atlantic

    1) Find what looks to be a deep pool, and perhaps dig a hole close to the edge. At some depth, its possible free flowing water will be present.

    2) How about whip out the stove and heat up the pot real nice (or your spade), and use that to break into the ice.

    #3685569
    rubmybelly!
    BPL Member

    @sleeping

    Locale: The Cascades

    It sounds like not much will work, so my updated thoughts would be to go somewhere else… :-)

    #3685570
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Ice screw – that sounds more like it.

    dig a hole close to the edge.
    I suspect not a chance: the soil will have moisture in it from the creek before it froze, and the moisture in the soil will now be frozen for some depth.

    A 20-pound rock thrown into the ice did nothing but dent the surface a little.
    That is ICE!

    Find a large pool which might be more brittle?
    A stove would work, but it would take a lot of fuel.
    1 gram of C4?

    Else, yeah, go elsewhere.

    Cheers

    #3685573
    Philip Tschersich
    BPL Member

    @philip-ak

    Locale: Kodiak Alaska

    Carry a chunk of some pyrophoric material like plutonium. Put it on a string so you can retrieve it after it melts through the ice.

    #3685574
    Todd T
    BPL Member

    @texasbb

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Cordless drill and a drinking straw?  :-)

    Seriously, though, what about a plain old ice pick to chip out chunks for melting?

    #3685576
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Carry a chunk of some pyrophoric material like plutonium
    But what about the weight of the lead screening?
    And what would BLM/Parks/?? say about that anyhow? What would the NSA say?

    Ice pick – or maybe a pterodactyl?

    Cheers

    #3685582
    Philip Tschersich
    BPL Member

    @philip-ak

    Locale: Kodiak Alaska

    You are already putting the plutonium in your water so I figured you wouldn’t worry about any shielding. And you could carry a light isotope, like PU228. Leave the PU247 for car camping.

    #3685583
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    C4!
    Cheers

    #3685586
    rubmybelly!
    BPL Member

    @sleeping

    Locale: The Cascades

    A bushcraft hand auger, like this one, might work. It weighs ~11 oz.

    #3685593
    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member

    @rex

    Locale: California

    At 11 oz plus a lever to drive the augur, getting close to rock hammer territory. But a hammer would be much easier to use – with eye protection.

    Like this “lightweight” model from Estwing with a 13 oz head:

    https://www.estwing.com/collections/geological/products/lightweight-rock-pick

    — Rex

    #3685602
    David Gardner
    BPL Member

    @gearmaker

    Locale: Northern California

    My first thought when reading the OP was the Estwing but I wasn’t sure how much it weighed. Are you taking an ice axe anyway? Some have replaceable picks so you could take an extra hardened steel tip. Like the Corsa Nanotech Ice Axe with a claimed weight of 8.8 oz on closeout sale at REI now for $120. Light, but you could pound on the adze with a fat branch.

    #3685606
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    OK, OK, C4 might be going a bit far, but what about a couple of simple detonators? No C4, just the dets. Lay on ice, stand back, trigger. Fractured ice.

    Cheers

    #3685608
    David Gardner
    BPL Member

    @gearmaker

    Locale: Northern California

    Pack some mud on top of the detonators first and it will greatly multiply the effect, but get behind something before it goes off.

    #3685612
    Philip Tschersich
    BPL Member

    @philip-ak

    Locale: Kodiak Alaska

    Mud? Everything is frozen, that’s the problem.

    Maybe a powerful laser…

    #3685642
    Eugene Hollingsworth
    BPL Member

    @geneh_bpl

    Locale: Mid-Minnesota

    A heavy, short knife would have less weight penalty than a hatchet or hammer and get you through 3 inches of ice.  I carry a BK2 now in the winter instead of a hatchet. (And always the appropriate size folding saw depending on the hike goals.)

    yeah, it’s a 16 oz weight penalty…

    #3685643
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    @geneh_bpl do you pound the knife in, or drive it in with some type of hammer? Or chip out ice chunks that then need melting?

    #3685650
    Jeffs Eleven
    BPL Member

    @woodenwizard

    Locale: NePo

    Build a fire on the ice

    #3685651
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    I’m not opposed to the idea of building a fire on the ice, but we are under Stage II until 11/30…wild times here. No snow, iced rivers, super low moisture % in the wood. I’ve never seen it like this.

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